'Today' Ignores Pro-Life Impact of Baby ('Fetus') Photos

In running some amazing microscopy photos of a developing baby, NBC's Today show, probably inadvertently, undercut the arguments of their friends on the pro-abortion side. On this morning's Today co-hosts Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer oohed and ahhed as they ran dramatic photos of a 24 week old fetus with Vieira even calling it a "child," something the abortion-on-demand types are loath to do. Interestingly neither Lauer or Vieira even mentioned the abortion word during the entire segment.

The following is a full transcript of the Ron Mott segment and ensuing discussion that took place in the 7:30am half hour of the October 12th Today show. First, some segment teasers:

Al Roker: "Also ahead some dramatic pictures from a groundbreaking book. This is the hand of an 11-week-old fetus."

Meredith Vieira: "Wow!"

Roker: "Amazing! We're gonna show you more images after your local news."

...

Meredith Vieira: "Then a journey inside the human body. Dramatic images of a child developing inside its mother's womb. This is actually a fetus at 24 weeks. We'll have more from the photographer who's been compared to Da Vinci."

Matt Lauer: "Wow!"

Vieira: "Incredible, incredible pictures."

Lauer: "My publicity shot isn't that clear. That's unbelievable."

Vieira: "Well you're not that cute."

...

[Full segment]

Matt Lauer: "Everyone loves baby pictures and a new book is filled with them but this kind of picture is different. It shows developing fetuses in stunning photographs like you have never seen before. We get more now on this from NBC's Ron Mott."

Ron Mott: "Sometimes a picture can be worth a 1000 words. These are almost indescribable. Sure you could mention their infinite texture, their seductive curves, their intriguing finesse, their utter uniqueness, they're stunning detail but it's when you learn what they are that the words stop."

[Photos re-shown with titles: "A Fallopian Tube," "A Red Blood Cell," "A Successful Sperm," "Heart Muscle Cells," "A Stem Cell."]

Mott: "These dazzling images are the work of famed Swedish photographer Lennart Nilsson, an 84-year-old pioneer who made it big by thinking and more important, shooting small. He says a school lesson gave him a new vision as a boy."

Lennart Nilsson: "So I told my father, 'Hallo, I want to have a microscope.'"

Mott: "Nilsson became obsessed with getting up close and personal. Blood vessels in the brain, testosterone and his favorite, human embryos in ways never before seen, winning him comparisons to another artistic trailblazer, Leonardo Da Vinci. But for him it's not just art, it's science too."

Dr. Jacques Moritz: "In using it to explain to patients what's going on. Visualizing what's going on in your body may actually help your body heal."

Mott: "Now Lennart Nilsson's view on what makes us tick comes super-sized in a new coffee table book with the simplest and yet most complex of names, Life. Four decades since his breakthrough work graced the cover of Life magazine and captivated the world, photo-microscopy as it is called, continues to fascinate."

Mark Holborn, editor and essayist: "It works not just as an aesthetic level, it works at a very deep emotional level. It's irresistible. He's made the invisible, visible."

Mott: "It's been said that life imitates art from time to time but in Lennart Nilsson's work, art is life, magnified. For Today, Ron Mott, NBC News, London."

Lauer: "Man!"

Meredith Vieira: "Just incredible."

Lauer: "We had a sonogram recently, which is, you know it's a, like a 3-D sonogram."

Vieira: "Oh sure."

Lauer: "And those images, I thought, were amazing. They're nothing-"

Vieira: "Compared to that. I know."

Lauer: "-compared."

Vieira: "So early on, too."

Lauer: "Ours look like a courtroom artist sketch compared, compared to what this guy catches. Just unbelievable."

Vieira: "But it's your baby, so it's beautiful."

Lauer: "Well, thank you for saying that. That's the first nice thing you said to me all day."

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.